Brian Day – Pasadena Star News
More than 100 people celebrated the third day of Hanukkah in front of Pasadena City Hall on Sunday with traditional songs, food and crafts, as well as an 8-foot-tall menorah made of jelly beans.
The candy candleholder – filled with 41 flavors of beans – stood next to a 14-foot-tall metal menorah, which weighed about 1,000 pounds and was hosted by the Chabad of Pasadena.
“It’s to enhance the sweetness of the holiday in a world with too much bitterness,” said Chabad of Pasadena Rabbi Chaim Hanoka.
Sunday was the third day in the eight-day Jewish “Festival of Lights.”
Children first helped fill the smaller menorah, made of clear plastic tubing, with about 35,000 jelly beans, before the rabbi uncorked the bottom and let excited children gather them.
Another rabbi at the Chabad of Pasadena, Rabbi Yisroel Pinson, played traditional Hanukkah music on a keyboard.
Children made their own menorahs and painted tops, called dreidels, as celebrants enjoyed traditional potato pancakes, called latkes.
Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century B.C.
The story of Hanukkah represents the few overpowering the many, Honoka said, as he reminded everyone that the gathering was a way of joining Jews around the world.
Then, Honoka lit the lanterns atop the giant candelabrum.
“The menorah acts as a beacon of light to illuminate our surroundings,” the rabbi told the crowd as he lit the lanterns atop the giant candelabrum. “We need to add light to the spiritual darkness that exists out here.Let these lights light up the world.”
Zachary Becker, 9, of Glendora attended the celebration with his mother, Sheryl.
“I thought it was pretty cool,” Zachary said of the event. “My favorite part was when they unloaded the (jelly bean) menorah.”